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SVT 137 901-903 Berlin

In service
In service at the Deutsche Reichsbahn (DDR)


Even though the usage of SVT trainsets with fast running diesel engines was tried and tested, there were people in the DRG who found that the DRG had to use slow running diesel engines in their trainsets. There was already experience with this sort of diesel engines at the DRG. The disadvantage of slow running diesel engines was the construction, the engine was a lot heavier and could not any more built in a bogie. The advantage was that these engines had lower abrasions and there was a fast exchange in case of broken power cars.

MAN in Nürnberg built in 1938 a SVT trainset with a top speed of 160 km/h with diesel electric traction, but the construction of this trainset was different than the other SVT trainsets. Instead of two power cars with seats and with coaches in between, the SVT "Berlin" had a separate power car with only a luggage and post compartment. This concept can be seen as the predecessor of the current ICE concept with separate power cars. Through Schaftenberg couplers both middle coaches were coupled together with the power car and the steering car at the other end. The steering car had driving engines too. Actually the SVT "Berlin" was a experiment, there are only made and delivered two trainsets, the SVT 137 901 and the SVT 137 902 and a reserve power car SVT 137 903a.


The power car differed regarding the construction from the other trainsets. The frame was simultaneously the frame for the diesel engine. The cabin was free of engine parts. The front of the power car was rounded and had three windows. The cabin was accessible from outside via a swing door. Behind the cabin was the engine room with the main diesel engine with the cooling installation. Behind the engine was a luggage room and a post compartment. The machine room was isolated. The 3200 mm long luggage compartment with a surface of 3 m2 had on both sides double swing doors. The 2800 mm long post compartment had on both sides a single swing door.

The middle coaches and the steering coach were constructed with joists and with welded profiles. There was paid many attention to the outside walls. For fewer air resistance the front of the steering coach was rounded. The train got skirts at the bottom to decrease air resistance. To change from coach to coach, the trains got gangway bellows. A second gangway bellow over the first gangway bellow made a closed unit and caused no whirlwind between the two units. The gangway from VTa to VMb got spoilers. The entrance doors were placed at the end of the coaches and got lowering footboards to ease getting on and off. The footboards could be operated electropneumatic from the cabin.

The SVT "Berlin" had eight two-axle bogies of type "Görlitz", who were modified for the SVT "Berlin". The axles had sheet springs and helical springs. The diameter of the wheels of the VTa was 1000 mm. The diameter of the wheels of the middle coach was 930 mm, the driving wheels of the VSd were 1000 mm. The springs of the coaches were sheet springs. A slow running 8-cylinder fourstroke diesel engine of type "W 8 V 30/38" from MAN was placed in the machineroom. This engine was equiped with a turbo and had a power of 970 kW at 700 rpm. The engine was originally a submarine engine which was little modified for usage in trains. It had a cylinder diameter of 300 mm and a capacity of 214 liter. The "GO 6" from Maybach had in comparision a capacity of 48 liter. The engine had a weight of 11 tons and was therefore the most heaviest engine ever built in a power car of the DRG.

The engine was started by a generator. When the battery of the generator was not sufficient anymore, they could start the engine with a highpressure air system. The fuel was carried in four tanks with a total capacity of 1760 liter. To carry over the energy from the diesel engine to the electric motors, there was a main generator of type "GE 1.100/8" from BBC. The power of this generator was 900 kW at 930 kV. The diesel engine and the generator were joined together. The electric motors were DC motors. The secondary boardnetwork in the train was fed by a second diesel engine with a separate generator. This engine was a 6-cylinder diesel engine of type "W 6 V 15/18" from MAN with a power of 86 kW at 100 rpm. In case of an emergency, when the main diesel engine fell out, this engine could took it over and could fed the electric driving motors, the speed was in such case only 35 km/h. To be able to drive in both directions with the same speed, the four electric motors "GLM 2375 H" from BBC were fit in the power car as well as in the steering car. With the use of Scharfenberg couplers more units could be conducted from one unit. When this was done, there had to be someone in the second trainsets in the power car, because not all functions could be operated from one unit. To communicate with each other there was a intercom and a internal telephone line available in the trains.

The trainsets were equiped with shoe brakes of type "Hikss" with electrical operation. The SVT "Berlin" was also equiped with induction brakes of type Knorr DD 125. As handbrake was a spindle handbrake installed. To achieve high air pressure there were two electrical airpressures from Knorr of type "VV 85/85 G" who could deliver air with a pressure of 10 bar. The electrical boardnetwork was fed by 110 volt DC generated by a second generator. When the train stood still, an AFA battery 4 Ky 285 with a capacity of 285 Ah took it's function over. The power car was provided with front and rear lighting, so that the power car could made independently testruns. It could run 100 km/h forwards and 15 km/h backwards. The trainsets SVT "Berlin" were equiped with Sifa and Indusi.

The seats arrangement was similar to the arrangement of seats as in D-train coaches. In the VMb and the VMc were nine second class compartments with corridor. The compartments were 2095 mm wide and had an arrangement of 0+3. The seats were each 651 mm wide and the corridor was 700 mm wide. The comparments had two sliding doors, and the corridors had at both ends a swing door. In the VMb and VMc was a toilet with washfacility. The steering car VSd had three compartments second class with the same arrangement as in the middle coaches. After these compartments followed a dining compartment with 29 seats with an arrangement of 1+2. In the dining compartment was a 1800 mm long bar and a 1800 long kitchen. It was followed by the cabin with a for DRG understandings long (1425 mm) length. The heating was done by heating of air. The temparature was regulated by a themostat. In the summer, the heater was used as an extractor fan. The coloring of the SVT "Berlin" was the same as the other SVT trainsets. The color along the windows was ivory, but without the roundings at the end. The rest of the coaches was violet painted. Under the windows and the roof were black lines. The roof had an aluminium color.

In service

After the delivering of the trainset SVT "Berlin", at was accommodated at Raw Wittenberge in the Bw Berlin Anhalter Bahnhof. A couple of test runs were followed in the Southern part of Germany. After the test runs there were a couple of test runs on the Black forest line to test brakes, and to make a couple of speed tests. But the SVT "Berlin" never entered service in the long-distance passenger traffic, due to the out break of the second world war. During the war the power cars were used as emergency electricity generators for the commander in France. The SVT 137 901a was standing in La Palica, the SVT 137 902a was standing in Paris and the SVT 137 903a was standing in Bordeaux. After the war the SVT 137 901a was destroyed, the SVT 137 902b was standing in Raw Wittenberge and the third was disappeared. The coaches were used as offices in a green livery at the RZA München. During the war both VMb units were destroyed and the VMc and VSd were used as offices.

In service at the Deutsche Reichsbahn (DDR)

The DR used the power car SVT 137 902a to built a new trainsets. This power car was the only part of a trainset SVT "Berlin" which was in the DDR. They constructed a new trainset, because there was need for comfortable and cheap passengers coaches and trainsets in the DDR after the war. The power car could be used entirly except for the electric driving motors. The DR used coaches which were from a electric trainsets of the Dutch railways, to built the middle coaches for the trainsets. These coaches were found somewhere in the DDR and were transported to Raw Wittenberge. These coaches, with the numbers 391788, 391789 and 391790 could be coupled with the VTa. The old arrangement of the SVT "Berlin" VMb, VMc, and VSd remained the same. The power of the electric motors of the Dutch coaches was only 154 kW, that's why the VMc was equiped with two motors. The top speed of this trainset was 140 km/h.

This new built SVT trainset had as maintenance facilities Bw Berlin-Karlshorst, and had his service as train FDt 143/144 on the line Berlin Ost Bahnhof-Halle-Erfurt. In the summer of 1957 the train was replaced by a locomotive hauled train. After that, the train was used for special rides as "Saßnitz-Express". The train was set aside after five years. The VTa was demolished on 11 February 1968. The VMb was used a service vehicle, but the VMc and VSd were demolished on 31 January of 1969.

Type nr: SVT 137 901-903
Bauart: Berlin
Skizzenblattnummer: MPwPsot4üvT+B4üv+B4üv+BWR4üvS-36
In service: 1938
Manufacturer: MAN
Axle layout: 2'Bo'2'2'+'2'2'+Bo'2'
Gauge: 1435 mm
Length: 86,755 m
Weight: 210,6 t
Traction: Dieselelektrische


Aantal: 1
Fabrikant: MAN
Vermogen: 970 kW
(bij 700 tpm)
Speed: 160 km/h
Number of seats: 126 (1st class)